Difference between blood and lymph

Main difference

Blood is a body fluid that allows oxygen to circulate throughout the body, while lymph helps fight infection and remove waste products.

Blood versus lymph

Blood and lymph are the main component of our body. Blood is made up of various types of cells such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Lymph is a colorless liquid that lacks RBCS but has WBCS and fewer platelets. The blood supplies oxygen to the different parts of the body, while the lymph supplies nutrients such as fat-soluble vitamins and fats in the form of chylomicrons. Blood circulates throughout the body through the circulatory system and lymph runs through the lymphatic system. Lymph is basically derived from blood by superfiltration through capillaries.

Blood is red in color due to the presence of red blood cells while lymph lacks red blood cells, making it colorless. Blood circulates through the cardiovascular system while lymph runs through the lymphatic system. Blood carries a large amount of oxygen and nutrients, while lymph carries less oxygen and nutrients. Blood contains plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, while lymph contains white blood cells and fewer platelets. Blood acts as a thermoregulator and maintains the pH of body fluids while lymph bathes the cellular environment.

Comparative chart

Base Blood Lymph
Components (edit) RBC, WBC, platelets, plasma WBC, aqueous liquid
System Circulatory system Lymphatic system
Colour Red Colorless, milky white
Purification In kidneys In the lymph nodes
Protein Diffusible and non-diffusible proteins Only diffusible proteins
Coagulation More clotting ability Lower clotting ability
Flow Circular movement (bidirectional) In one direction
Features Supply of oxygen and nutrients, Elimination of CO 2 and waste material, Maintenance of pH and water balance. Scary cell transport from infections, phagocytosis, lymphocyte storage
Diseases Anemia, polycythemia, thalassemia Lymphadenopathy, lymphedema, lymphoma
What is blood?

Blood is a special type of connective tissue. It is of mesodermal origin and is made up of two parts; cellular and non-cellular. Its cellular part constitutes about 45% while the rest (55%) is the non-cellular part that is plasma. The cellular part is made up of red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), and platelets. White blood cells are divided into two types; granular leukocytes and agranular leukocytes. Neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils are granular leukocytes, whereas lymphocytes and monocytes are agranular leukocytes. Plasma consists of a fluid part (91% water) and a solid part (9%). Plasma contains organic and inorganic substances. Organic substances are proteins, enzymes, pigments, non-nitrogenous substances, and non-protein nitrogenous substances. Red blood cells are oxygen-containing red hemoglobin, non-nucleated cells present in the blood. Hemoglobin is an oxygen-bearing red pigment present in red blood cells. Red blood cells have a half-life of 120 days, while in newborns between 70 and 90 days. All types of blood cells are made in the bone marrow, especially in the ribs, breastbone, hips, and vertebrae. The main function of blood in the body is transportation, but it has an important role in the body’s defense mechanism. White blood cells are involved in the defense mechanism against infectious diseases. Blood deficiency is called anemia and is due to deficiency of red blood cells and hemoglobin, while polycythemia is the opposite condition in which a greater number of red blood cells are produced. In megaloblastic anemia, the erythroblasts are large and irregular in shape. There are two types of megaloblastic anemia, one is the lack of vitamin B12 which is called pernicious anemia, while the second is caused by the deficiency of folic acid. Sickle cell anemia is another type of anemia in which an abnormal form of hemoglobin is produced due to an inherited genetic defect. Thalassemia is a genetic disorder characterized by decreased synthesis of Hb globin chains. This disease occurs due to abnormalities in the genes responsible for the synthesis of the globin portion of the hemoglobin molecule. erythroblasts are large and irregular in shape. There are two types of megaloblastic anemia, one is the lack of vitamin B12 which is called pernicious anemia, while the second is caused by the deficiency of folic acid. Sickle cell anemia is another type of anemia in which an abnormal form of hemoglobin is produced due to an inherited genetic defect. Thalassemia is a genetic disorder characterized by decreased synthesis of Hb globin chains. This disease occurs due to abnormalities in the genes responsible for the synthesis of the globin portion of the hemoglobin molecule. erythroblasts are large and irregular in shape. There are two types of megaloblastic anemia, one is the lack of vitamin B12 which is called pernicious anemia, while the second is caused by the deficiency of folic acid. Sickle cell anemia is another type of anemia in which an abnormal form of hemoglobin is produced due to an inherited genetic defect. Thalassemia is a genetic disorder characterized by decreased synthesis of Hb globin chains. This disease occurs due to abnormalities in the genes responsible for the synthesis of the globin portion of the hemoglobin molecule. Sickle cell anemia is another type of anemia in which an abnormal form of hemoglobin is produced due to an inherited genetic defect. Thalassemia is a genetic disorder characterized by decreased synthesis of Hb globin chains. This disease occurs due to abnormalities in the genes responsible for the synthesis of the globin portion of the hemoglobin molecule. Sickle cell anemia is another type of anemia in which an abnormal form of hemoglobin is produced due to an inherited genetic defect. Thalassemia is a genetic disorder characterized by decreased synthesis of Hb globin chains. This disease occurs due to abnormalities in the genes responsible for the synthesis of the globin portion of the hemoglobin molecule.

What is lymph?

Lymph is derived from the Latin word “lympha” which means “connected to water.” Lymph is the fluid of the lymphatic system. Lymph is produced when interstitial fluid accumulates through lymphatic capillaries. It is transported through larger lymphatic vessels to the lymph nodes where the lymphocytes remove waste materials, before emptying into the right or left subclavian vein, where it mixes with the blood. The composition of lymph changes as the blood and surrounding cells continually exchange material with the interstitial fluid. It is similar to blood plasma, which is a fluid in the extracellular matrix of the blood. The lymph returns the proteins and extra interstitial fluid to the bloodstream. Lymph also carries metastatic cancer cells. It transports fats from the digestive system to the blood with the help of chylomicrons. It also picks up bacteria and carries them to the lymph nodes where they are destroyed. Although lymph has a composition like that of plasma, it differs slightly from plasma. The lymph that comes out of the lymph node has a higher number of lymphocytes. The lymph that has formed in the digestive system is rich in fat. The flow of lymph in the thoracic duct in an average person at rest is about 100 ml per hour and about 25 ml per hour in other lymphatic vessels. The total lymphatic flow in the body is about 4 to 5 liters per day. Which can be increased several folds in case of exercise. Therefore, it can be estimated that without lymphatic flow, a person would die within 24 hours. The spleen, located above the kidneys, it is the largest organ in the lymphatic system. The most common diseases of the lymphatic system are lymphadenopathy, which is the enlargement of the lymph nodes. lymphedema which is due to swollen lymph nodes and cancers of this system. Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system that results from uncontrolled growth and multiplication of lymphocytes.

Key differences
  1. Blood is pumped by the heart, which is a powerful muscular pumping organ, throughout the body, whereas lymph has no such pumping organ.
  2. Blood carries oxygen to the body, while lymph removes waste material from the body.
  3. Damage to the blood can be seen with the naked eye, while damage to the lymph cannot be seen with the naked eye.

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